Glasgow & West Scotland

Rangers owner Craig Whyte's firm Tixway has appeal refused

Craig Whyte
Image caption Craig Whyte said he had not agreed to pay the invoices

A sheriff has refused an appeal lodged by Rangers owner Craig Whyte over a bill of £86,127 owed to a roofing firm.

In February, Mr Whyte's company Tixway UK was found to have breached an agreement to pay for goods bought by another firm, ­Snowcast UK.

It was ordered to pay One Stop Roofing Supplies after Mr Whyte's evidence was described as "wholly unreliable".

Tixway's appeal was refused after no-one turned up at court on two separate occasions to represent the firm.

The case centred on the business relationship between 41-year-old Mr Whyte, Chris Keating, who owned Snowcast UK before it folded, and One Stop Roofing Supplies, which is run by Robert Jenkins.

During evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court in December 2011, Mr Whyte said he was introduced to Mr Jenkins in April 2008 through friend and businessman Mr Keating.

Invoices dispute

The court was told Mr Whyte helped Mr Keating's own business by lending money when it was required.

It was said that Mr Keating regularly bought supplies from the roofing firm.

Mr Whyte told the court the only orders made by him, and that he was invoiced for by One Stop Roofing, were for the repairs he was carrying out at Castle Grant in Grantown on Spey.

He said he did not agree for invoices for Mr Keating's business to be sent to him or paid by him.

The court also heard that Mr Whyte became the director of Tixway after serving a seven-year disqualification from being a company director.

Asked why he was banned, Mr Whyte said he could not remember as it was some time ago. He also said he did not want to say in open court and get it wrong.

In his ruling on the case, Sheriff Nigel Ross stated: "I accept the evidence led by the pursuer (One Stop Roofing) as credible and reliable, and supported by the available documentation.

"I reject the evidence of Mr Whyte as wholly unreliable.

"It is not possible to ascertain whether he is not telling the truth or is simply unable to recollect the true position, and has convinced himself that this arrangement is something that he would not have entered into.

"Either way, his evidence is contradicted by virtually every other piece of evidence."

'Legal liability'

Sheriff Ross found that Mr Whyte's firm Tixway had "offered its own credit rating to allow cover for the supply of large volumes of materials to Snowcast".

He said this was "subject to a high degree of control by the defender over Snowcast and an understanding between the defender (Tixway) and Snowcast that Snowcast would make payment for those materials".

Sheriff Ross concluded: "As a matter of legal liability, however, the defender remains the principal obligant.

"There is no dispute as to the sum outstanding, nor that it was properly incurred, and I accept the total brought out by the pursuer's figures."

Following the judgement, an appeal was lodged on 5 March this year, on behalf of Tixway.

No-one turned up to represent the company at a preliminary hearing and another hearing was fixed for Monday at Glasgow Sheriff Court for the firm to send a representative.

Sheriff principal Craig Scott then refused the appeal on the grounds no-one had appeared to represent the company and ruled that the original decision made by Sheriff Ross was the final outcome.

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